28 July 2006

Du Fu's Thatched Cottage

Du Fu was a Tang Dynasty poet (712-770), who was actually born in a different province, but left to travel around CHina. He was captured by rebels and he eventually fled to Chengdu, where he lived in a thatched cottage for four years, where he wrote more than 200 poems. It's actually a park, with lots of walkways, a beautiful pond and a tea garden. There was a big pagoda called the Ten Thousand Buddha Tower,
and some really interesting statues that may have been petrified wood, may have been some kind of stone or wood, but were at least pretty cool.

It was really pretty there, but it was so hot that day it was sort of hard to enjoy the day. I wandered around with another Fulbrighter for most of the day, and then towards the end of the afternoon, we sat and had popsicles (yes, we each had two) in the tea house.

A poem:

Song of the Autumn Wind and the Straw Hut

An autumn wind ripped clear
Three Layers of Thatch from my hut
Spreading it over the river,
Along the banks, into the marsh
Or driving it up into branches
Of tall trees.

Over from the south village ran
A bunch of boys, seeing me old
And feeble, stealing the thatch
In front of my eyes; hauling it
off to their bamboo grove, I
shouting at them until my mouth
Was dry, throat sore; then
Going inside with a sigh, leaning
On my stick; the gale stopped
But black clouds gathered
Hastening the night.

I looked at my bedding quilt, now
As cold as iron, all torn with
The restless feet of my children;
Rain streamed through the roof
Like unbroken strings of hemp
Drenching all, and I pondered on
How much sleep I had lost since
This rebellion began, hoping
The night would pass swiftly
Wondering in my dream whether
It would be possible to build
An immense house with thousands
Of rooms, where all who needed
Could take shelter; a mansion
As solid as a hill, not fearing
Wind or rain; then thinking how
If only such could be,
Would I be content to see my poor hut
Demolished with I myself
Frozen to death.

1 comment:

Another Fulbrighter said...

Yea for Mango popsicles!